Will Obamacare Be Gutted? Even With Insurance And Education Our Chances Of Dying In Childbirth Are Still High

Ladies! Today the Donald announced he’s moving to scrap Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act – ACA). Under him, the U.S. Justice Department stated they will repeal the ACA. But, even if we have insurance, African-American women are three times more likely than white women to die from pregnancy-related causes. (See HuffPost)

According to NPR and ProPublica, black women are 243% more likely to die from childbirth than white women. But, our vulnerability to maternal mortality is not limited to those among us with less education or from a lower socio-economic class.   Actually, a Sista’ with an advanced degree is more likely to lose her baby than a white woman with less than an eighth-grade education.

The U.S. CDC (Center for Disease Prevention and Control) claims black women are three to four times as likely to die from pregnancy-related causes as their white counterparts. This is a higher rate than the rate in Mexico, where almost half of the people live in poverty.

And, we all know what happened to Serena last year. Tennis champion Serena Williams, with beaucoup bucks and major name recognition almost died during the birth of her first child.  The day after delivering her daughter Alexis Olympia via C-section she developed a blockage in an artery in her lung – or pulmonary embolism.

CDC data show the risk of dying as a direct result of pregnancy and childbirth is less than 10 in 100,000 live births, but 22 in 100,000 for black women.  One out of 8,475 women dies from pregnancy complications in the U.S. The most common causes of death for pregnant women include:

Emboli (blood clots affecting the heart and brain);
Eclampsia (high blood pressure complications affecting pregnancy);
Heavy bleeding (Hemorrhaging);
Sepsis (severe infection);
Cerebral vascular accidents (stroke, bleeding in the brain); and
Anesthesia-related deaths.

Ladies, we know blood pressure is a problem in our community, and about one in 20 pregnant women has blood pressure problems (the CDC didn’t state what the stat is for us), and around one in 20 women suffers from excessive blood loss at delivery.

Let’s be clear: we still need Obamacare. And,  the ACA won’t go down without a fight.  Expect a big one. Call your congressional representative tomorrow.  But, we also need more research directly related to Black women’s health.  Push for research by the pharma industry and the government. Insist your healthcare provider offer services that have been proven to help black women. And,  buy products that have been tested on black women, so you know it’s good for you!

Keep it sexy!

Keep it healthy!